Personal Reflection

My Year In Review: 2018

I don’t even know where to begin. 2018 has been a year of high highs and low lows for me. But I’m happy to say I survived. I’ll see you all on the other side.

Here’s my 2018 in review.

January was great. I had a lot of motivation and inspiration. I started 2018 on a strong note. I began my second semester of third year. It feels so long ago now. I finished three books and reorganized my shelves. I submitted poems but never heard back.

February sucked. I was hit by a car. I spent the month resting and recovering. I read four novels. Fortunately, I felt good enough to attend my friend’s birthday party later in the month. It helped me get back on my feet.

March wasn’t easy, but I managed. I fell in love with baking. One day, I decided to download Duolingo and improve my Mandarin. I got through three books.

April was busy. I had finals. I found time to grab lunch with a friend I don’t see often afterwards. I started working as a digital marketing intern. I read three novels.

May went well. I worked all month. I hung out with some friends. I finished four books.

June wasn’t bad. I kept working. I changed the theme for my blog. I attended another birthday party. I finished three novels.

July felt short. I still worked. My cousin from China came over, so I spent more time with family. I read three books.

August felt even shorter. I attended an event for book bloggers. I finished three novels. I started driving again.

September signalled the arrival of school. My first semester of fourth year to be exact. I learned that my poem would be published in an anthology. I couldn’t believe it. Later I signed an author release form and approved the proof for print. I read four novels, rearranged my shelves. I continued to drive.

October was good. I won an academic scholarship. I had my midterms. I spent time with more relatives from China. I finished three books.

November stressed me out. Life. NaNoWriMo. School. I only managed to get through two novels. To be fair, one of them was fairly long. I drove.

December had its ups and downs. I finished classes and exams. I finally took my road test and got my G2 driver’s license. I finished 4 books too.

Thank you all for an amazing year. All the best in 2019!

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Reading

Everyone We’ve Been By Sarah Everett | A Book Review

Title: Everyone We’ve Been

Author: Sarah Everett

Genre: Contemporary

About the book: It’s a standalone debut novel about Addison Sullivan who starts talking to a boy only she can see after an accident.

First impressions: I love the title and cover. I’m just now realizing the latter has a person of colour on it. The premise sounded promising. I didn’t mind the beginning.

Characters: Addison is far from a perfect character. The same could be said for Zach, the boy she falls in love with. They’re more likeable at certain points and less so at others. That said, I think she redeems herself at the end and finally learns from past mistakes. Also, there’s some racial diversity with Addison being mixed race.

Quote:

“You take the worst thing that’s ever happened to you and you tell it any way you want it to.”

Writing: There was more romance than I anticipated. Because I’m not the biggest fan of make-out scenes, I found the middle of the novel less interesting.

It’s told in Addison’s point of view, alternating between before and after the accident. I saw some things coming, but I liked the short chapters.

Final thoughts: I’m glad the novel ended the way it did. The story doesn’t have the happiest ending though.

I found it didn’t live up to my expectations. I would’ve liked more focus on Addison’s recovery with less emphasis on romance.

If you’re into contemporary romance with a bit of mystery mixed in, Everyone We’ve Been might be your cup of tea.


Do you have an arc or galley I should read? Check out my Book Review Policy.

Feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads to keep up with what I’m reading.

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Reading

Unrivaled By Alyson Noël | A Book Review

Title: Unrivaled

Author: Alyson Noël

Genre: Contemporary

About the book: It’s the first novel in a trilogy called Beautiful Idols.

First impressions: Growing up, I read some novels by the author and enjoyed them.

I like the title as well as the cover. I didn’t realize this right away, but each chapter title is the name of a song, which I thought was neat.

Characters: Layla wants to be a journalist. Tommy wants to be a musician. Aster wants to be an actress. Upon meeting the three, I could relate to Layla the most at first. Tommy grew on me. I’m still a little indifferent about Aster.

They’re more likeable in the beginning. But as the competition goes on, everyone starts doing some questionable things.

Quote:

“…you have a second chance to decide what you really want out of life.”

Writing: The writing is simple, easy to follow. I always feel the need to mention a book has short chapters because I love them so much. They alternate between the perspectives of Layla, Tommy, and Aster, yet the story’s told in the third person.

Despite being young adult, the language and scenes are more mature. I loved the mystery but not the romance in the novel. I wasn’t big on all the messy relationships between many of the characters.

Final thoughts: Even though the ending doesn’t tie up loose ends, I enjoyed the cliffhanger.

I’m not sure if I’ll read the second book in the series, but I’d recommend Unrivaled if you want a contemporary novel filled with drama. It strikes me as a fun, summer beach read.


Do you have an arc or galley I should read? Check out my Book Review Policy.

Feel free to add me as a friend on Goodreads to keep up with what I’m reading.

This post contains affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Reading

My Reading And Reviewing Journey In 2018

In 2018, I wanted to branch out and broaden my reading horizons. I also wanted to publish more book reviews on this blog.

As of now, I’ve read 42 books. I somehow managed to review most of them as well.

I read and review because I love stories. If I care about the characters, then I probably care about the story as well.

I’m excited. I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store for me. I already have several books shouting at me on my bookshelf.

I’m so beyond grateful. I can’t thank you all enough for reading this blog, especially my book reviews.

In 2019, I hope to read even more and broaden my horizons further. I’ll continue to write reviews and blog about books.

Writing

Feeling Uninspired

Sometimes I feel uninspired to create.

I’ve been wondering whether I want to write and blog every day in 2019. Even though I enjoy both, it’s hard work.

I want to be excited about the creative process again. I’m not giving up. Right now, I just need a new start.

At first, I felt like I had to create every day. Nowadays, I still feel a bit beholden to my past self.

I’m in a bit of a rut. I know I should make some changes, but that’s easier said than done.

Going forward, I will try not to be so hard on myself. As much as I love creating, I also love doing other things.

I know I’ll regret what I didn’t do more than what I did. I owe it to myself to live my life. Even if that means I don’t blog every day or write as much as before.

In many ways, I’m still trying to figure out my place in this world. As a blogger. As a writer. As a human being.

Writing

Getting Into The Zone

I love getting into the zone and losing track of time. It was easier when I had less on my plate. Unfortunately, like everyone else the older I get, the more obligations I have.

Being so immersed in another world that the real one falls away is an incredible feeling. I tend to come out of those sessions feeling energized, even if I just spent the past two hours writing.

Of course, getting into the zone is tougher than simply sitting down in a chair. It requires you to start, which is often the hardest part.

Losing track of time because you’re so caught up in your w.ork can happen when you least expect it to. Sometimes a little pressure courtesy of a deadline helps as well.

Personally, I make a schedule and set aside some time for creative work every day. I don’t always get into the zone. When I do, I don’t always expect to stay in the zone for too long. Then again, when things are going well, I don’t want to stop. I want to keep going until I can’t.

Personal Reflection

Life Advice

You’ll figure it out. Adjust, adapt. Sometimes well-laid plans don’t pan out. That’s life. Do the best you can given the circumstances. Put your self in a position to succeed even if it seems the world wants to see you fail.

Don’t blame anyone, yourself included. If you want it badly enough, you’ll work for it. Work hard.

It’s okay to compromise. You may have to compensate. Make sacrifices.

You owe no one anything. Never ask for permission to do what you love. Never ask for approval once you’ve done what you love. This life is yours and no one else’s. Make your own decisions instead of letting someone else make them for you.

You’re going to regret what you didn’t do more than you’ll ever regret all the things you did. Believe in your abilities. You’re more than capable. You can do anything you set your mind to.

Some things don’t matter nearly as much as you think they do. Know who you are. You shouldn’t change for the sake of changing.

You can’t be perfect, so stop trying to be. Nobody else is. Aim for excellence. Do more than you have to. Dream big. Dream bigger. You’re too good to rest on your laurels.

Stay true to your word because that’s all you have. You will reap the seeds you’ve sown in due time. Have the patience to follow through with things to the end. You’re almost there.

Take care of your body. Listen to it. You deserve to be happy. Do what brings you the most happiness. Remember not to feel ashamed about living your life in a way that feels right.

Set the bar high enough that you challenge yourself but not too high that you put yourself in a corner. Nothing is worth more than your health, your well-being.

Go full out, not halfway. Remember all you’ve had to overcome to get here. Count your blessings, your lucky stars. Take pride in the progress you’ve made.

You’ll be okay.

Tweeting

To Tweet Or Not To Tweet

As a writer, I feel I should like Twitter. Of all the platforms, Twitter seems the most suited for writers.

I’ve just never been much of a social media user. I don’t always know what to say or share, especially online. Sometimes I think about sharing something but then stop myself for some reason.

In a way, tweeting is similar to blogging. I guess I’d rather spend more time writing or reading.

Also, there aren’t enough hours in the day to be everywhere and to do everything.

Perhaps I need to tweet about something unrelated to me. I’m not one to share personal details about myself in real life or on social media.

I’m better at writing than I am at posting. I have no problem drafting a tweet. But sending it out into the world is a different story.

It’s not easy to create content on a consistent basis. It’s even harder when these days almost anyone can criticize you.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get into Twitter. Don’t get me started on Instagram. I suck at social media. Big surprise, I know. So kudos to everyone who doesn’t.

Some days, I wonder if I was born in the wrong era. I need a time machine. Take me back to the days before social media existed.